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HEFCE Review of MFL Provision: where now … ? Professor Michael Worton, Vice-Provost, UCL. Review of Modern Languages provision. Commissioned by HEFCE in response to concerns in the sector about falling numbers and funding provision
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SECTION 1Explores the contexts in which MFL is currently operating
SECTION 2Quantitative data from a range of sources (HESA; UCAS; HEFCE; AHRC)
- Stresses that the overall picture conceals many individual differences for individual languages
1. MFL departments, Language Centres, LLAS and CILT should work together to promote a clear and compelling identity for MFL
2. Vice-Chancellors should be encouraged to understand the several functions of languages at university within the context of the strategic mission
3. Universities should use their Learning and Teaching strategies and admissions policies to demonstrate the importance they place on MFL
4. VCs should provide support to MFL departments and Language Centres to allow them to develop together in the context of the strategic mission
5. Departments should ensure their programmes and courses are appropriate for the global 21st century - both in terms of content and modes of delivery
6. Language departments should go beyond outreach and WP activities to work with schools to develop a languages curriculum for the 21st century
7 and 8. MFL departments should work more proactively on skills development and careers guidance to ensure this is an integral part of every programme
9. Universities must address any tensions that exist between departments and language centres to ensure parity of esteem and a culture of collaboration
10. The importance of contextualised language learning should be recognised by the appointment of and CPD for highly-trained specialist language teachers
11. Departments should work to attract greater numbers to postgraduate study in languages, including through strategically-chosen research specialisms
12. A forum should be set up to formulate clear, coherent messages about languages and to develop a communication strategy
13. HEFCE and DCSF should continue to fund Routes into Languages beyond 2009-10
14. The AHRC, ESRC and HEFCE should give serious consideration to a second phase of Language-based Area Studies Centres
15. The AHRC should consider the creation, through a national competitive process, of a network for doctoral training centres / training units
16. HEFCE should commission a study of teaching hours and outcomes in languages using different writing systems than those using Roman script
17. The DCSF should consider changing its 2006 ‘expectation’ for numbers learning languages post-14 into a mandatory target, monitored by OFSTED
Only by working together in an interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral way can we make significant progress